Canada’s Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay made a successful debut in their pairs career by finishing second at the Karl Schaefer Memorial in Vienna, Austria in October. They followed that with a fourth place finish at Skate Canada at the end of the month. Even though this is an Olympic year and Canada has pairs slots for the Games in Torino in February, the new team has not set their sights solely on participating this time.
“We haven’t set any placement goals for this season,” Hay said. “We’d like to keep progressing and get to a certain level but we don’t want to get hung up on placements.” “Like anybody else, we would love to go to the Olympics this year,” Langlois added. “We are working hard towards it but at the same time, our main focus is not medals and placement, it’s getting off the ice having improved from the last time and to keep progressing together.”
Langlois had reached as high as fifth at the World Championships in 2003 and 12th at the 2002 Olympic Games with former partner Patrice Archetto. At 24, she wasn’t ready to quit skating when Archetto retired after the 2005 Canadian Nationals. But she hadn’t planned to skate with hay either. “We had trained together at the same rink with our former partners,” Langlois explained. “And I had helped coach Cody and his partner. Then both of our teams split up an hour apart after Nationals. Cody had already committed to a show engagement and his mother asked me to do the show with him, so I did it.”
“We hadn’t considered skating together but it was fun to learn a routine for the show,” she continued. “We were both going to do partner tryouts but people kept asking us, ‘Why don’t you just skate together? Sometimes the right partner is just under your nose.’ In April, we decided to go ahead and skate together but we needed to get a fresh start and a new atmosphere someplace else. David Pelletier told us to go an try out a few places where there were coaches with pairs experience who could teach us new moves. So we tried a few places and Lee Barkell was amazing so we decided to move to Barrie in May.”
“Cody loves to skate and he’s fun to skate with,” Langlois stated. “He always has a smile on his face. And he has an incredible learning curve. His favorite lift is the hardest one. He’s a really positive person and makes the bad days good.” “I love to skate with Anabelle because of her personality on the ice,” Hay explained. “She’s very fiery and gets me motivated to skate. She comes skipping into the rink and when she gets on the ice she won’t quit no matter how tired she gets. And she has so much experience that it’s easy to learn from her.”
Both of the skaters have been involved with the sport for a long time. Hay first got on the ice when he was five. He began playing hockey and played as a forward in recreational leagues for seven years. When he was eleven, he began taking figure skating lessons from his mother, a skating coach, to learn to skate better for hockey. For two years, he continued in both hockey and figure skating, but enjoyed figure skating more.
Hay, 22, was born in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, but moved with his family to Grand Prairie when he was 14, the year he landed his first triple jump, a triple toe loop. He has now landed all the triples through the lutz. Hay reached Canadian Nationals in 2000, finishing fifth in novice men, then finished 14th in junior men in 2001 and 2002.
Along the way, he earned all of his golds in dance and competed with Christine Walker at Tomorrow’s Champions, the forerunner of today’s Canadian Junior Nationals, in the late 1990s. He also started skating in pairs when he was eleven and competed with several partners in club competitions. In 2003, he teamed with Daylon Hoffmann, finishing sixth in novice pairs at Canadians in 2003, sixth in juniors in 2004, and fifth in juniors in 2005. He also skated with his club’s synchro team.
Langlois said, “My father taught me to skate when I was two. My two brothers and my sister both skated and both of my brothers play hockey. I took the CanSkate classes and progressed pretty quickly. It was natural for me. I started pairs when I was 15, the same year I started landing triples. I had seen pairs on television and it looked pretty exciting. I did both for a couple of years and skated in novice ladies the last time Canadians was in Hamilton. I actually got up to divisionals in junior ladies, but it was too tough to handle both and do well.”
The couple trains with Barkell at the Mariposa School of Skating, working three hours a day on ice and another two and a half hours a day in off ice lift classes and other training. “We want to do even more,” Hay said. “We need ballet and some other training but we can’t fit it in or afford it. It’s more expensive living and training in Barrie so we’re doing as much as we can.”
Nikolai Morozov choreographed the duo’s short program, a bluesy number to “The Messiah is Coming,” which he thought suited the new team. Lori Nichols choreographed the free skate to “Concerto de Aranjuez” by Rodrigo. “Lori watched us skating and created some new moves for us, then went home and picked the music,” Hay noted.
“I wanted to do Carmen because I like lively music with character and I love Latin music, so I wasn’t hard to convince,” Langlois stated. “I like more bluesy, rock and roll kinds of numbers so I really like the short,” Hay said. Off ice, he listens to a variety of music including a lot of country, while she likes everything but prefers older songs. Although Langlois is not musically trained, Hay used to play both the piano and saxophone.
Neither of the skaters is working or studying now due to their recent change in training locale. “I’d like to get back to university to study psychology,” Langlois said. “I did CEGEP in human sciences. I like to go to school and I love learning about history and geography and biology.” Hay is the opposite. “I wanted to be a professional baseball player when I was younger,” he said. “I was never a fan of school and I have no idea of what I want to be.”
Both skaters enjoy playing golf on their rare off days. They also like going to movies, rollerblading and playing baseball for fun. But Anabelle’s favorite hobby is cooking.